No magic wands
In “The Sorrow and the City” (Feb. 20) Jack Lessenberry makes a strange assertion that “at some point, the city, like General Motors, will be released from higher government control, to start over without debts,” except “GM and Chrysler [will have] products to sell.” I disagree with all those assumptions. The government cannot wave a magical economic wand and create solvency or demand, which requires capital. It is this type of irrational thought process that drives the nation’s economic policy, and the result is the destruction of the middle class. And since when does a city sell a product? A city should do nothing to prohibit its citizens to conduct business freely and voluntarily, without forcing public debt upon them. If you want people to move to Detroit, offer them freedom from government. —Brian Moore, Detroit
Jack Lessenberry’s Feb. 20 column item titled “Let’s all try not to be stupid,” about Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to fund road repair by raising gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, produced a variety responses online. ARK3000, for example, posted:
During my career, I developed three distribution centers for my retailer employer, each an investment of $35 million and 600 jobs. I would not have placed one of these in Michigan based on the inferior roads.
Then there’s Connie Concrete’s post declares, in part:
You can’t build cheap asphalt roads and expect them to stand up to traffic that has virtually no weight limits and the weather in our wonderful little slice of paradise. The idea that you should pay more if you use them more is fair on the face of it, but the biggest slice of the burden should be borne by the trucking industry. Not that that will ever happen. Complicating all of this is the demand to fix it faster … demand that leads to decisions about using asphalt, and having to do it all over again in three years. Germany is roughly in the same latitude, thus similar weather conditions, yet you never seem to hear about potholes on the Autobahn …
Our News Hits column about the connection between local efforts to fight home foreclosures and an attempt to force the city of Detroit to disclose information about costly bond deals (“Foreclosures, fraud & the big fight,” Feb. 20) produced much positive response online from our readers. Bill Wylie-Kellermann wrote:
This connection is so important and, of course, never made in the dailies or public radio. The banks, and their government fronts, are as predatory with municipalities as they are with homeowners. Our neighborhoods and communities are under assault by both as one. More of this is welcome in MT.
And bigrafx bob weighed in, noting:
Applying public pressure does indeed work. We just need to get past the scale of one-on-one with the banks. We need our lawmakers to enact a national moratorium on foreclosures and force the banksters to remodify the homeowners’ mortgages that they wreaked havoc on. More stories like this, please.
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